Bookies are putting war-torn Ukraine as favourite to win this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
Since it was illegally invaded by Russia three weeks ago, Ukraine is holding firm against the Russian invader but has taken a heavy toll with hundreds of thousands of refugees forced to abandon everything behind and flee the country. While Russia has been condemned by the international community and banned from most sporting and cultural events, including the Eurovision Song Contest, there has been a huge wave of support for Ukraine.
Now, bookies are putting Kalush Orchestra firmly in the lead of possible Eurovision winners with a 33% chance of taking the top spot. Italy’s Mahmood and Blanco and their song Brividi have a 17% chance and Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs and her song Hold Me Closer with 8% chance of winning, according to the odds-setters.
Britain’s Sam Ryder and the song Space Man has been placed in fourth position on the bookies’ table with 5% chance of winning.
Kalush Orchestra will be representing Ukraine at Eurovision 2022 with the song “Stefania” after Alina Pash had to withdraw.
Alina Pash won Vidbir 2022 – the Ukrainian national selection for Eurovision 2022 – with her song “Tini Zabutykh Predkiv” but due to accusations that she visited Crimea illegally in 2015, the singer had to withdraw.
With a space empty, Ukraine’s broadcaster invited Kalush Orchestra to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Kalush Orchestra finished second in Vidbir with the song “Stefania” but received the most votes from viewers.
Kalush Orchestra is a side project of KALUSH, a folk-rap Ukrainian group whose original line-up consists of:
- Oleg Psyuk (founder and vocalist)
- Ihor Didenchuk (multi-instrumentalist)
- Kilimmen (DJ)
- Johnny Dyvnyi (backing vocals
The name derives from Oleg’s hometown (Kalush in Ukraine) and was founded in 2019.
After the release of its first two singles, KALUSH was signed to the North American giant Def Jam, a part of Universal Music Group. So far, the group has released two albums and later decided to form Kalush Orchestra that features more folk elements than usual.
The new lineup comes with the addition of two other musicians:
- Vitalii Duzhyk (beatboxing bagpipes player)
- Tymoffi Muzychuk (instrumentalist)
Ukraine in Eurovision Song Contest
Ukraine is one of the most successful countries in Eurovision Song Contest.
Out of 16 performances, Ukraine has:
- Two victories: 2004 (Ruslana: “Wild Dances”) and 2016 (Jamala: “1944”)
- Two 2nd places: 2007 and 2008
- Qualified for the final: 15 out of 15 times!
The Eurovision Song Contest 2022 will take place in Turin, Italy in May.